Volume. XXII, No. 42
Sunday, 13 April 2008

January 2008 Cambodia Missions Reports Part 1

Elder Michael D Lee 

“19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt 28:19-20)

Praise and thank God that I was able to go to Cambodia again, my 6th time, to visit missionaries like Rev & Mrs Stephen Choi in Phnom Penh, and Rev & Mrs David Koo in Sihanoukville, and my many Khmer friends whom I met in my previous trips. It was a joy to see them and to know that they were still fervent in their work for our Lord Jesus Christ. 

There were 45 members in this 6th Missions trip, under the leadership of Rev Okman Ki and Elder Michael D Lee from Hope B-P Church, Adelaide, and Dr Stephen Lim, Preacher Hai Seng Lim and Bro Joseph Lo from Ebenezer B-P Church, Melbourne. There were representatives from other B-P Churches in the team. We were scattered almost simultaneously in three locations – Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap. Preacher Hai Seng Lim and Bro Matthew Thomas went as far west as Poipet to do God’s work in the slum areas.

This Missions was also our 3rd Medical Missions, and the medical team consists of two participating medical practitioners, nine medical students, ranging from first year to final year, one physiotherapist, one registered nurse, one student nurse, and four pharmacists. Altogether we saw about 500 patients over four half days. 

There was only one physiotherapist in this team. She played a significant role in treating patients with muscular and back pain. This is the second time that we were able to provide physiotherapy services to the Khmers as part of our Medical Missions.

For the first time we had our 1st Dental Missions, and dental services were provided by two dental students from Melbourne. They provided much needed advice and education on dental hygiene, and gifts (tooth brush & tooth paste) to the village Khmers. I was impressed with the student dentists, especially for their contribution and eagerness to help the poor Khmers.

This time, we were blessed by the presence of four pharmacists – all from Melbourne. They were so helpful with education, advice, and the dispensing of medicines. They played a vital role in the provision of medical care in the villages.

The rest of the team were involved in teaching Bible stories, Sunday School lessons, Christian songs, and English Language; conducting Sunday School teachers’ and Vacation Bible School workshops; and fellowshipping with the missionaries, their assistants, and the Khmers themselves. Nearly all the male members of the team were involved in preaching God’s Word in the various churches in the villages.

Before I went to Cambodia, I wondered why there were so many people going to Cambodia. The preparations and planning were a migraine! (Thank God for the valuable assistance from a brother and three sisters in Christ – their suggestions and help were unforgettable). The reason became obvious when I fell sick on my third day in Cambodia. One by one, almost all the members became sick – most with gastroenteritis or food poisoning. I was unwell for most of my 18 days in Cambodia, and together with the unusually warm and very humid weather it was an effort to do God’s work. One team member was sick almost the whole time in Cambodia. Thank God that none of us had to be sent home! With His help we were able to continue with our work in Cambodia!

I will leave the details, including touring and adventure, of this missions trip to the other members, especially the first timers.

In Sihanoukville, Pastor Ki and I had the opportunity to meet up and had sweet fellowship with Bro Narith (Jesse) & Sis Sithon (Naomi), Sis Bopha and her husband, Bro Chong De, and her son, Peter, and Bro Philip Van Narith. I had the opportunity to see Bro Sopheak who now has his own ministry with Bros John Saray and Liv Rotha in Kampot. In Siem Reap, I met up with Bro Chanthon and Sis Siang Lai and their two sons, Benedict and Joseph. Except for Sis Bopha, they are still involved in God’s ministry one way or another.

There is still so much work to be done. The Khmer believers need good and sound Bible-believing visiting pastors, Bible teachers, and preachers. They will continue to require external assistance for some years to come. It is my prayer and hope that the B-P churches in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia will continue to play a significant role in helping our Khmer brethren to bring the Gospel of Salvation to the rest of Cambodia.

“13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:13-17).

Finally, I would like to thank God for the fellowship and friendship that have developed amongst the 45 members of this Missions Team. Everyone contributed to the success and fruitfulness of this Missions to Cambodia.  The close co-operation, rapport, and the effort the team members put into this Missions were so impressive. I overheard someone in Cambodia said that he was very impressed and encouraged by the way our team members treated the Khmers with respect and as friends, showing them wonderful brotherly and sisterly love. They were treated as our equals and “by love serve one another” (Gal 5:13). By our example we showed them what “agape love” is!

Bro Daniel Ki 

It’s interesting to see all of the preparation being made for this mission trip such as Sunday school materials, sermons, and various teaching materials. It’s interesting because we’re all told beforehand that we will receive so much more than we can give. Obviously, the preparation is important, but at this stage, the blessings we’ll receive from the trip is only head knowledge, with all of our efforts devoted to how much work and impact we can make in Cambodia. We quickly find that our preparations are usually insufficient and that we must have a lot of flexibility in adapting what we have to the various circumstances. Teaching and preaching is a good thing and it was a blessing to be able to do this, but it was really in our own hearts that the work of the Cambodian missions manifested.

There were a lot of experiences that were hopefully not wasted lessons. To be honest, our impact is rather minimal, and Cambodia benefitted us far greater than for the Cambodians. Preaching a sermon is scary and indeed should be as it’s no light matter, but it’s still an amazing experience. It’s certainly difficult not to appreciate the work and role of the pastor in the church. Although most fell asleep during my first sermon except for one who walked in with five minutes to go, it was still rewarding for me. Everyone’s always nervous before it as it is a daunting experience, although helped by the knowledge that they can’t understand you and that your interpreters will fix any mistakes anyway. But when you stand up before the people to preach the word of God, there’s a stillness that comes about you and a spirit of calmness and peace. It’s at this moment that nothing else is more important than God’s word and His gospel. I don’t believe that you can truly experience the full extent of God’s love and joy unless you share the gospel with someone else (except when you’re saved of course). It invariably sounds cheesy, but everything does slow down as you contemplate the importance of the message you’re sharing. Being aware of your spiritual needs and those of others humbles you and removes your pride and fear. It refreshes and uplifts your heart and despite the mistakes that are sure to come, it doesn’t matter, as we weren’t there to display our own skill at preaching, but rather to let others know of the Savior who died for them. It’s an awesome responsibility, but one that God carries you through as He is the one who prepares the heart to receive the gospel.

The missionaries are amazing people. Although I’m proud to call myself an American, I’m incredibly proud of my Korean heritage when I see the number of missionaries in the mission field. Their involvement in missions, particularly Korea, is enormous. God will surely bless Korea for their work to the advancement of His kingdom. One particular couple I’d like to talk about is Bro Chanthon and Sister Sianglai in Siem Reap. The work that they face is enormous. Bro Chanthon preaches in at least seven churches because there really isn’t anyone else who is capable. Although he wants and needs more training, he’s unable to do so as there would be no one to take his place. His wife Sis Sianglai was by far the best interpreter and is truly one of the hardest working people that you’d ever meet. She spends at least 1 hour every day learning Korean on top of all other duties, so that she can communicate with the Korean missionaries better. It surprised me when I heard her talking in Korean to a Korean missionary couple to organize one of our preaching schedules. Missionaries really need a lot of prayer. My greatest satisfaction during the trip was when they said that they were encouraged by our presence and how faithful we were when working. It was important for usto show the missionaries there that their work is not forgotten or in vain and that they have fellow Christian brothers and sisters who pray for them and their work, that all the work they do may be glorifying to God.

It’s hard to convey the Cambodian experience to those who haven’t gone, but Cambodia was not about the foreign country, the schools, the missionaries, or even our own memories, but ultimately the gospel. Once you share the gospel, a desire begins to grow in your heart to spread it and tell all about God’s wondrous work. Although it’s still tempered by fear, the opportunities were there and more often than not, it was taken. The gospel was shared in the medical missions, in the schools we taught at, in Sunday school, and in the sermons. Every person you see becomes a gospel prospect. Sadly, this desire is often fleeting and soon overwhelmed by the pressures of the world around us once we go back. It’s so easy to slip back into the same old routine and lose that passion and fire for the gospel. It puts me to shame when I remember Cambodia and then how many times I haven’t shared the gospel when I could. It’s certainly far easier to share it in a foreign country than in your hometown, but this was what Cambodia should be. Not so much for us to be missionaries in a foreign land, but to be missionaries to our friends and family here in Australia, where the gospel is often twisted to man’s own selfish desires to the point that it is no longer recognizable in simplicity and clarity. Its truth that should shine and penetrate the heart of man is usually shrouded in tradition, routine, and seeming indifference. Many people call themselves Christians as a symbol rather than a belief. However, the heart of man is no different in Australia than in Cambodia. Despite the increased distractions around us, people are constantly searching for something that will fill the spiritual void that lies within them. There is an incredible need here too. The opportunities are always there. It’s our continuous responsibility to not let these opportunities come to waste.

(Editor’s Note: More Missions Reports in next week’s Lively Hope)

More Lively Hope




No Working Bee on Sat, 26 April, but there is a special Working Bee on Sat, 10 May.

Accommodation required for Sis Rebekah Neumann. If you can help please call 0400 527 136 or 8532 1793

Volunteers required for transport. If you can help please see Dn Tony Law.

Hospitality Roster: Anyone or family wishing to have fellowship lunch or dinner with Pr David Weng & family, please leave your name on the roster on the notice board.


Looking Ahead

Family Bible Camp at Victor Harbor: 24-26 April. Speaker: Bro David Weng.

22nd Anniversary Thanksgiving Service on 25 May. Speaker: Rev Patrick Tan


Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong (Adl); Bro You Wen Yeap (Syd), Sis Min Yen Chia (Adl).

Church activities: AFG Bible Study, BBK Class, Ladies’ Share & Prayer, Wed Prayer Meeting & Bible Study & YAF Bible Study.

Healing: Auntie Oei.

Answered prayers  - much needed rain

God’s guidance for our Church

God’s daily mercy and grace to all of us.


Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Chua, Rev Peter Clements, Rev Edward Paauwe, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam, Hans Ziegelmann; Grandpa Ki; Sisters Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson, Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Irena, Sylvia White & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction.

Cambodia Missions - Sis Siang Lai (recovering from car accident, Siem Reap).

Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam & family.

India/Pakistan Missions - Pastors & Believers.

Kuching Missions - Teo family.

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim.

Journey Mercies - Dn Yaw Chiew Tan (Kanowit/Sibu), Bro You Wen Yeap (Adl); Sisters Min Yen Chia (Melb), Tabitha Heah (Mt Gambier/Adl) & Kristy Liao (NZ); Ting family (Interstate).

Job - Bro Cong Pham

.Sabbatical Leave: God’s guidance & protection for Ps Okman & Sis Myung Ki (Chiangmai).

Speaker for next Lord’s Day: Dn Tony Law

Family Bible Camp: Speaker - Pr David Weng, & camp committee.

Provision of a Pastor for our Church.

Session members - wisdom as they take care of our Church.

Believers under persecution in Islamic countries.

God’s blessings on wedding: Sis Mariam Ziegelmann (Melb) on Thurs, 17 April.




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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041